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CHAPTER I A blue-nose ancestry with Yankee proclivities—Youthful fondness for the sea—Master of the ship Northern Light—Loss of the Aquidneck—Return home from Brazil in the canoe Liberdade—The gift of a "ship"—The rebuilding of the Spray-Conundrums in regard to finance and calking—The launching of the Spray. In the fair land of Nova Scotia, a maritime province, there is a ridge called North Mountain,... more...

After having been twice driven back by heavy south-western gales, Her Majesty's ship Beagle" a ten-gun brig, under the command of Captain Fitz Roy, R.N., sailed from Devonport on the 27th of December, 1831. The object of the expedition was to complete the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, commenced under Captain King in 1826 to 1830--to survey the shores of Chile, Peru, and of some islands in the Pacific--and to carry a chain of... more...

On the seventh day out we saw a dim vast bulk standing up out of the wastes of the Pacific and knew that that spectral promontory was Diamond Head, a piece of this world which I had not seen before for twenty-nine years. So we were nearing Honolulu, the capital city of the Sandwich Islands—those islands which to me were Paradise; a Paradise which I had been longing all those years to see again. Not any other thing in the world could have... more...

A VENETIAN CRUISER. It was late in the year 1431. The port of Venice was filled with ships from all parts of the world, bringing to her their choicest stores, and their most costly merchandise, and receiving from her and from her Grecian possessions rich shiploads of wine and spices, and bales of finest cotton. It would have been a sight never to have been forgotten could we have gazed then on that city of the sea, have watched the cumbrous... more...

Thirty-five years ago I made a voyage to the Arctic Seas in what Chaucer calls   A little boteNo bigger than a mannë’s thought; it was a Phantom Ship that made some voyages to different parts of the world which were recorded in early numbers of Charles Dickens’s “Household Words.”  As preface to Richard Hakluyt’s records of the first endeavour of our bold Elizabethan mariners to find North-West... more...


Richard Hakluyt, notwithstanding the Dutch look of his name, was of a good British stock, from Wales or the Welsh borders. At the beginning of the fourteenth century an ancestor of his, Hugo Hakelute, sat in Parliament as member for Leominster. Richard Hakluyt, born about five years before the accession of Queen Elizabeth, was a boy at Westminster School, when visits to a cousin in the Middle Temple, also a Richard Hakluyt, first planted in him... more...

INTRODUCTION Biographical Note Two years before the mast were but an episode in the life of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.; yet the narrative in which he details the experiences of that period is, perhaps, his chief claim to a wide remembrance. His services in other than literary fields occupied the greater part of his life, but they brought him comparatively small recognition and many disappointments. His happiest associations were literary, his... more...

The year 1826 was remarkable for the commencement of one of those fearful droughts to which we have reason to believe the climate of New South Wales is periodically subject. It continued during the two following years with unabated severity. The surface of the earth became so parched up that minor vegetation ceased upon it. Culinary herbs were raised with difficulty, and crops failed even in the most favourable situations. Settlers drove their... more...

OBJECTS OF THE EXPEDITION. The expedition of which we have just detailed the proceedings was so far satisfactory in its results, that it not only set at rest the hypothesis of the existence of an internal shoal sea in southern Australia, and ascertained the actual termination of the rivers it had been directed to trace, but also added very largely to our knowledge of the country considerably to the westward of former discoveries. And although no... more...

MY LORD, The completion of this Work affords me the opportunity I have long desired of thanking your Lordship thus publicly, for the kindness with which you acceded to my request to be permitted to dedicate it to you. The encouragement your Lordship was pleased to give me has served to stimulate me in the prosecution of a task, which would, I fear, have been too great for me to have accomplished in my present condition, under any ordinary views... more...